Thirteen year old Gino was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. That means he was born with only half a heart. He is currently awaiting a transplant.
He has had 3 surgeries already and it is miraculous that he has made it to this crucial point of the 4th surgery Heart Transplant.
Blood transfusions called IVIG treatments are done monthly to prepare his body for the transplant surgery. Although he has half a heart, Gino is a boy with a BIG heart. Born (ironically) on Valentine's Day, he wanted to have a blood drive for his 13th birthday to give back and say thanks to all those who have donated for him.
At 5 months pregnant, Gino's Mother was informed that her son would be born with a very rare heart condition. Gino's diagnosis is called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, (born with only half a heart) and would most likely not survive birth.
Gino was born at UC San Francisco, CA at 11:46 pm on Valentine's Day. He weighed 5 pounds, 2 ounces & stretched 17" long. Shortly after birth, Gino went in for his first open heart procedure called the "Norwood" surgery.
Three months later, he remained in the hospital. Gino was in critical condition & was almost lost six different times. Gino's surgeon decided to perform the second surgery called the "Glenn" procedure.
As time went on, Gino began school and enjoyed some activities such as baseball, little help from his teammates and oxygen tank on the sidelines. In addition to the Glen open-heart procedure Gino suffered from severe tried to spit doubtfully scoliosis of the spine and swelling of the brain. Gino continues to live and live life to the fullest. In the fall of 2011 it was decided that another open-heart procedure was needed called the tricuspid valve repair in an attempt to repair a leak in his heart. Gina laughed and said they’re going to make hole to fix a hole. He always tries to find the positive in humor in any situation. Sad to say the procedure failed and it has led us on the journey which we are on today. We walked down the path of the positive outlook on life.
As of February 2014 Gino started his journey on the heart transplant list status 1B which means he was healthy enough to go home. On September 10, 2014 his heartbeat sped up to 324 bpm. He was sent to Stanford via helicopter Gino was almost lost that day. It's taken him some time to recover but luckily he pulled through. We are now home and awaiting a new heart.
As of May 2014 Gino was in need of blood transfusions and he began a treatment IVIG every two weeks. IVIG is a specific component of blood which lowers Gino's antibodies so he does not reject a new heart. Prior to and after receiving this IVIG treatment samples of blood are taken from Gino each month Gino has been on the heart transplant list for almost a year and a half. Gino understands that his chances of receiving a heart are slim but with this treatment it will help Gino accept a new heart.
The Journey through 2014-2015 has been roller coaster. Gino began the Journey on the Transplant list. We met new friends and Gino got closer to old friends. . We almost lost Gino September 10th. But Gino showed what a Tremendous fighter he is. We had all kinds of awesome experiences. We are bringing in the New Year with so much Joy and Happiness. Thank you so much for taking the Journey with us. Let's make 2015 a Journey of a lifetime.
There are so many amazing people I would love to tag in this video and you so know who you are!! When I add a video it doesn't allow me to tag anyone. But you definitely know who you are. You have made our lives complete thank you thank you thank you for everything you've done throughout the year!!!
Gino has succumbed to a virus that he contracted while awaiting his heart transplant. The family is accepting donations for his funeral fund. Click this link to donate.
Donate To The Gino Fund